Flag retirement and open house at American Legion Post 30

By Susan Mustapich | Apr 12, 2018
Photo by: Susan Mustapich American Legion Post 30 is collecting worn, faded and unusable flags at 91 Pearl Street in Camden, with a flag retirement ceremony scheduled for April 21.

CAMDEN — The community is invited to a flag retirement ceremony and open house at the American Legion Post 30 in Camden April 21, from noon to 3 p.m.

Post 30 is located at 91 Pearl Street.

The flag retirement ceremony provides a proper send-off for flags that are old and in disrepair, according to Post 30 Adjutant Jeff Sukeforth. The legion post has a number of these flags, and offers a drop box in the parking lot where people can leave worn, faded and unusable flags. Boy Scouts also learn how to properly retire flags and participate in the ceremonies.

American Legion Posts have taken on the task of properly destroying unserviceable flags since the 1930s. The approved method of disposing of these flags is by burning. The purpose is "to encourage proper respect for the Flag of the United States and to provide for disposal of unserviceable flags in a dignified manner," according to the American Legion.

The community is invited to the open house to enjoy refreshments, view historical displays and learn about Post 30's year-round activities.

Post 30 draws members from the five towns of Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville, Hope and Appleton. Members include veterans who served in World War II and the Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War and post-911 service. Two of the members are World War II veterans who have been members for 57 and 56 years, and two Korean War veterans who have been members for 51 and 43 years.

Post 30 is always looking for new members, said Sukeforth, a Vietnam veteran who joined the American Legion five years ago. Younger members are needed, and while most of the members are male, the post encourages female veterans to join. To join, a short application and a copy of discharge paperwork are required.

"There are a lot of vets who can benefit from being members," Sukeforth said. The Legion extends the camaraderie that is formed in military service, he said. The post is there in times of need to provide services, from helping with forms to participating in an Honor Flight, to providing a service to families at a veteran's memorial or funeral.

Post 30 hosts community events, year-round, including coffee and pastry twice a month, Flag Day celebrations, Eagle Scout recognition ceremonies, Memorial Day parades and Veterans Day events. On Halloween, members provide glow sticks and necklaces for Pearl Street's many trick-or-treaters, as well as organized parking in the lot.

This year on Flag Day, Post 30 will celebrate with a barbecue, and invite the local Boy Scout troop to participate. Last year, legion members offered an educational session on the meaning of the folds of the flag.

During this year's Eagle Scout recognition ceremony, Post 30 will present eagle feathers to two young men who have earned scouting's highest rank. The feathers are provided to the American Legion by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Around Memorial Day, the Post 30 provides flags for the cemeteries, and the color guard that leads the Memorial Day parades in Camden, Rockport and Lincolnville and participates in services in each of the towns after the parades.

Post 30 members are busy around Veterans Day, visiting students in area schools, stopping by Windward Gardens, Quarry Hill and Bella Point to say hello to fellow veterans, and hosting ceremonies.

Last year on Veterans Day, Post 30 invited veterans, their families and community members to share the day of remembrance with a musical program of military music from 1775 to the present, put together by past Post 30 Commander Rosey Gerry.

The Post is open to the community for coffee and pastry at 9 a.m., the first and third Mondays of every month. Anyone can stop by to chat, and doesn't have to be a member, Sukeforth said.

For more information about American Legion Post 30, call Commander Frank Carr at 236-3310 or Sukeforth at 691-2270.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Jeff Sukeforth | Apr 12, 2018 15:57

We look forward to showing off our post after all the work done after our flood a few years ago.  Stop by and join us for some snacks and tour.

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